Journal 4

Monday, August 5, 2013
(Evening, after a day at DEAR…)

I really… /really/ want Cinnamon Sugar right now. Someone small and fuzzy to cuddle and pet and to remind me to think about the good things. How many crazy days can one have in a row before going crazy oneself? The only reason I didn’t journal yesterday was that we were busy catching Seth and running away from evil henchmen who were apparently goblins and giants who travelled by lightning-bolts. And we got back so late that I simply collapsed in bed. And really… what could I have written about yesterday, anyway? Other than that I really just ought to tender my resignation now, because I don’t know what in the world possessed me to think I might be cut out for this kind of thing? Oh, wait, nothing – I never did think of what it might actually /mean/ to work for DEAR, I guess… just that it would allow me to be help more closely with the search for Mom, and maybe also that I could continue learning about my new abilities. I guess I’ve also just felt so… caught up in events, that I’ve been letting myself get swept along. And it seems I’ll continue getting swept along, because this morning before going into DEAR, I made the phone call to tender the /wrong/ resignation (the airline was really very gracious, and agreed to let me go without my putting in two weeks’ notice, since I was on indefinite leave already. …Oh, Lord, what have I done?). And /tomorrow/ morning I’m heading off with the others on a plane to Europe to continue chasing down clues. But… we have so much more to go on now in finding Mom. That… I just need to keep reminding myself that’s good. Very, very good.

Though I’m not sure how I made it through the day without, like, half-a-dozen melt-downs. What a roller-coaster! Definitely with its ups, just like a roller-coaster, but… well… as is only appropriate, it also had those plunges that well-nigh make one want to scream. And maybe tonight, just to avoid the question of where to start, I should begin at the interrogation and go chronologically from there. …I’m going to be so dead-on-my-feet tired tomorrow; I’m pretty much there now as I write, as it is. But we’ll be travelling, so I’ll get to sleep on the plane, right?

So to start, the interrogation. And the first surprise of the day was a good one: Douglas brought Detective Schaeffer in to help us in questioning Seth. …Of course, I’m not entirely sure Detective Schaeffer would be quick to say that was a good thing. Though I hope by now he mostly thinks of it so. I did feel badly for him – his shock at… well, everything… reminded me so much of my own. Heh, almost made me feel like an old hand at being shocked by everything being new. And strange and different and crazy. And he also clearly felt betrayed by Seth. And… I know that feeling, too. I think feeling sorry for him almost helped, at certain strategic moments, to keep me from feeling too entirely sorry for myself :-p. But that doesn’t really do him justice; I also came to respect him even more deeply than I did when we talked with him the other day.

And then… the interrogation was its own roller-coaster. Seth… could be one maddening individual. Glib, flippant… and his /constant insistance/ on referring to Mom as a /shark/! Where does /that/ come from?! He kept saying how… how /scary/ she was. HOW COULD ANYONE /EVER/ BE AFRAID OF MOM?! The most destruction she ever wreaked was on a piece of fabric, and that was only when she was cutting it up to make something beautiful out of it! So… I can see where an ignorant, short-sighted piece of fabric might tremble before her. But that’s only because it (…is probably a kind that naturally wiggles around delightfully… and) doesn’t understand that what seems like painful destruction is really only part of the process of re-creating it into something amazing.

…You entrapped me into a metaphor there, Lord. Entrapped! I always did love Lewis’ quote, “God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous” (…where was that from, again? Bah, I should never journal without my library at hand. But… I do believe it was /Surprised by Joy/. I shall have to google later to confirm). Still, it’s not quite fair to pull that kind of thing on /me/. ;-) But in seriousness… I do thank You for the point. I have been feeling… so very cut up. So very much ready to fall to pieces. But even now, I can already begin to see You making beautiful things… though for the most part I still feel like I’m in a lot of pointlessly small, raw-edged, painfully fraying pieces.

Through the questioning, though, I think I can see how You gave me at least two things to… heh… sorta pin me together while You started sewing seams. One was… that I couldn’t help starting to feel sorry for Seth. Just… I don’t know if it was just the general trap of his life and circumstances, or seeing his genuine suffering over the nightmares he was having, or glimpsing a hunger for other things in his comment about having wanted to stay. Which last lead me to realize what it must have been like for someone with his background, working every day with a man like Detective Schaeffer. It… well. I wrote the other day about the lie of /that trope/. But though it really was a lie, at least the way I was thinking of it… even then, it derived its strength from a truth: that a desire for redemption is a beautiful thing, and should be nurtured with hope rather than crushed with rejection. Of course, the redemption needs to come from the right place, or it’s not redemption. No mere /person/ can provide it. But… I /was/ able to see and pity that in Seth. He had a hunger for something more and truer than he’d known. He probably didn’t realize… still may not realize… that redemption by You is really the thing for which he hungered. But You still granted me a glimpse of the hunger, and… I believe You’ve at very least placed him on the way to seeing it filled.

So, compassion was one of the pins You used to hold me together. And in a way, Seth’s negative comments about Mom were another. Because once I started shifting more toward compassion for Seth, my angry defensiveness of Mom shifted to… something different. I guess it was a desire to give him a better and truer idea of the kind of person she really is. I stopped being angry at his image of Mom, and started wanting instead to give him a different one. By the time all was said and done, I wanted to help Seth for his own sake. But I also wanted to help him for Mom’s sake, and on Mom’s behalf… to prove to him that she wasn’t the things he said. Which… also, interestingly, strikes me as carrying quite a bit of metaphoric potential. How often do I engage people’s wrong ideas about You that way, Lord? How often do I try to replace their misguided images of You by giving them a true reflection of You in my actions toward them? I… well, I pray /that/ is what Seth ultimately ends up seeing in this experience, even more than a truer picture of Mom. And I pray You would help me become the same to others, as well, before all this comes to an end.

And in at least one case, am I /ever/ going to need Your help with that! Because I felt today like some of my rawest edges were shredded even more hopelessly. And yes, I am thinking of… the newest thing we learned about Zachary. I guess this does remove my great fear: after all, his having a wife would sort of put an impassable barrier to /that trope/ coming into play where Zachary is concerned. And perhaps now I know why You were calling me away from him… Y’know, aside from the fact that he was a spy out to kidnap my mom. But I still… I guess partially I’m mortified even more than ever to remember how I fell for him. And partially it just… hurts. It hurts so much. It takes to an even deeper level just how much he was pretending. And I wasn’t, and I was convinced it was all so real. Then there’s the fact that he was… not just my first serious relationship, but my first one /ever/. And… now it really /couldn’t/ turn out to have been /less/ the relationship I thought. …Am I really seeing a portion of myself that was hoping at least some of it /had/ been true, just so that… so that I could believe that finally a guy /had/ actually taken an interest in me? Ach, what vanity! And yet… I guess these pages are for honesty… though if I could enchant them to burn to cinders if any eye other than mine looked at them, I’d be sorely tempted. Or maybe just go blank – less chance of someone getting hurt. Or be invisible to other eyes? So help me, I can’t even do enchanting, and this isn’t a journal-security brainstorming session. So without any of that, still, I confess it, Lord: I had that vanity. I think that vanity even saw a sort of allure to possibly finding myself in /that trope/, though I feared it so much, as well. As I said even then, there /is/ a pride and vanity to the trope itself. And I was snagging on that. Worse and worse! In taking me apart… oh Lord, what other things will You uncover? But I am Yours, and my stains do need uncovered. …Just please, clean them or cut them out as You go? And then some pinning. This is an area I could really use some pinning, until You get around to putting in whatever You have planned for seams.

Aaaand as soon as I say it, I remember the other thing we learned. The curse. It wasn’t the fulfillment of his orders. It was… backup, maybe? But he risked… /why would/ he risk sparing my life? Knowing what was at stake, why go to those lengths? But Seth /did/ say he was trying to turn his life around. Maybe it was just… a step too far. He didn’t want to become /that/. And now that I think about it… though I wasn’t pretending in my part of the relationship, so much of what I felt for him /was/ tangled up in those enchantments. Once those were broken… I’ve felt a pang here or there in a stray edge of what used to be my attachment to him. But mostly… mostly it’s just remembering how I felt, rather than feeling the remnants of those emotions. Somehow I’ve got a sense things would be different now if all the feelings had genuinely been mine. For the most part they evaporated, rather than sticking around in tatters. They may have left an empty space, but they’re not still here in a mass of raw nerves. Sure, here and there I do still feel stray ends. But where I felt so terribly betrayed by those enchantments before, now… I almost feel like I’ve been shielded. How much worse it could have been! So… heh… am I coming to the conclusion that for now, my pin is gratitude? I don’t know why he did things they way he did, but I do know that in doing them that way, he spared me just about as much harm as he could have. And in at least one point, he took a grave risk to do it. I do pray, Lord that that risk will not end up harming him or those he loves.

Oy, it’s getting so late, and I’m hardly through the interrogation. Maybe I’ll have to cut things short. But a couple more things first. Earlier I said I could already begin to see You making beautiful things out of all this. I think mainly, so far, most of that is wrapped up in how we ended up able to help Seth. I couldn’t have hoped better, Lord, and I thank You for opening the doors. He’ll receive help in starting a new life, of all things under the guidance of Detective Schaeffer… which I think really will be good for both. We got to witness him take the Vow before we left. And we got to do so after removing his dream-curse and allowing him a good, restful sleep. I even got to help with that – Llewelyn had me use my telepathy to help pinpoint where it was so he could remove it more effectively. By the time all was said and done, he really seemed… kind of stunned. He said he was almost afraid to believe it. But I could see him begin hoping – and, what’s more, begin hoping in the /right direction/. And Lord, I thank You for that beginning. As I prayed before, so I pray again: that You would direct that growth, and lead it in the end to where it’s rooted in You.

And now, because time presses, off to bed. But not before thanking You. Because Lord, You are working, and You do have Your hand with me through this, as painful as it has often been. We’re off to Europe tomorrow. Please take our next steps in hand.

Journal 4

Red King's Command Wayfarer